Ep. 4: Interactive panels highlight practical, cutting-edge, pipeline advancements

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Optometry Times®' EyeCon 2022 co-chairs Kelly K. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO, and A. Paul Chous, MA, OD, FAAO, sat down with Ben Casella, OD, FAAO, chief optometric editor for Optometry Times® to chat all-things EyeCon 2022.

The countdown is here! The Optometry Times® EyeCon 2022 annual meeting sets sail Friday, December 16, and Saturday, December 17, at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Marco Island, Florida.

At Optometry Times® EyeCon 2022, optometrists come together to talk about cutting-edge advancements in diagnostic tools and treatments and share their experiences.

Optometrists who treat patients with both common and rare ocular conditions and other health care professionals interested in the diagnosis and management of eye conditions will benefit from the conference offerings.

Related: Ep. 1: EyeCon 2022: Join the fun in-person at Marco Island

Hot topics will include the role of artificial intelligence in optometry; advice on the selection of diagnostic tools; a pharmacology update on emerging therapies across ocular diseases; advances in contact lens innovations, ocular surface diseases, and myopia control; and optimization of care in ocular and related systemic diseases such as glaucoma and diabetes.

“We’re super excited to have this meeting in person this year. [The past] year was our inaugural year, and it was virtual. [There] was a fantastic lineup of speakers and the panel presentation; it was fabulous,” Kelly K. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO, said. Nichols is dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. “This year we have the good fortune of going to Marco Island. Who doesn’t love great CE [continuing education] in a beautiful location?”

Cochaired by Nichols and A. Paul Chous, MA, OD, FAAO, a diabetes eye care specialist in Tacoma, Washington, Optometry Times® EyeCon 2022 will bring together top experts to share clinical insights and advances in eye care for professionals interested in updating their diagnostic, monitoring, and disease management skills. The conference is a joint meeting, with an ophthalmology track from sister brand Ophthalmology Times® happening concurrently.

“We have some overlap of keynote sessions, and there’ll be opportunity to network and meet some colleagues who are ophthalmologists as well as industry [professionals],” Nichols said. “We’re looking forward to the great mix of folks who are going to be on Marco Island.”

“I’m excited about the keynote,” Chous said. “[Nichols], the 2 ophthalmology chairs [Peter J. McDonnell, MD, and Oluwatosin U. Smith, MD], and I are going to be talking about new technology, including artificial intelligence, new drugs on the horizon, and things that might potentially change our practices.”

Ben Casella, OD, FAAO, chief optometric editor for Optometry Times®, sat down with Nichols and Chous to chat all-things EyeCon 2022.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity:

Casella:

I looked through the meeting agenda — the conference agenda, I should say, [and it] looks like there's some really cool stuff coming down the pipeline here. Looks like we're going to learn about some newer glaucoma procedures—that I have a part in telling you about, and it looks like there's still some really cool presbyopia stuff coming down the pipeline. Is that what do you guys hear? What's up?

Nichols:

Yeah, there's definitely new technology in each area. We've designed these panels so that it's very interactive. There's 2 or 3 panelists in each section, and either they're doing all the latest and greatest or have really looked into the research that's being brought to the forefront relative to all these areas so that is really not stagnated. [It's] what to expect and what we are currently expecting—really-cutting edge, I think, in every topic: contact lens, presbyopia, retina, glaucoma, we're gonna hear some really great stuff. Last year was fantastic in that aspect. I was just like blown away by the content and the panelists.

Casella:

Cutting edge, pipeline, horizons. This sounds like a meeting of truly contemporary science. And our mantra here at Optometry Times®, of course, is practical, chairside advice. And it sounds like we're going to be hit with a dense amount of information that we can actually incorporate into our practices. So that's great. As a private practice owner, I am selfishly looking forward to that. And I can't wait to see you guys there.

Nichols:

Absolutely. And it's gonna be so much fun.

Casella:

I really appreciate your time. And I'm gonna go register now so that I don't forget. And find us online, find us on social media. I'm looking forward to seeing you all in person again. It's been too long. And I miss you guys. And thank you for taking the time with me.

Chous:

It's an honor. Thank you so much.

Nichols:

Always, thanks for your support and for the planning of the meeting.

Casella:

Thank you for your support. Thank you guys. Have a great day.